web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Politics, Israel, the Economy: A Chat With Rep. Bob Turner


Front-Page-012712

Assemblyman Dov Hikind and former mayor Ed Koch played essential roles in your election, highlighting Obama’s Israel policies to Jewish voters. Can you point to any significant change in the Obama administration’s approach to Israel as a result of your victory?

It’s very tough to know his motivation. We know that right after this victory he gave his most pro-Israel speech at the UN. Ed Koch seemed to think that this victory had a lot to do with it. I would agree. Now it has to stick in terms of policy. Diplomatically Israel and the United States could be a lot closer. Our intelligence communities work extremely well together, our defense cooperation is first rate, and Israelis will tell you the same thing. Diplomatically, and this has enormous consequences, when Obama snubs Netanyahu, that weakens Israel’s hand. It has real consequences. There’s where we need to improve the president’s position.

There is a strong belief among many of Israel’s most committed American supporters that the Republicans are to be trusted more than the Democrats where Israel is concerned.

I agree. The Democrats are getting more consolidated with a stronger far-left bias. And I don’t think that’s a group to be trusted with Israel’s security. The party that I knew is hardly there anymore. It’s dominated by some of the strongest labor unions and various groups that advance a leftist, one world, socialist agenda. That’s becoming the heart of the party, and I hope they can fix it. If they can’t, it would be a detriment not only to the Democratic Party but to the whole country. I think the left is becoming more vocal and shrill, screaming that they’re being polarized by the rest of us. I hope people begin to see through that. The Democratic Party is saddled with these guys, and Obama does some of the things he does to satisfy that wing of the party. He’s a very political person.

Newt Gingrich publicly called the Palestinians “an invented people.” Do you agree with that statement and to what end do you think the Israelis should pursue this line of argument in dealing with the Palestinians?

Newt knows the history of this term “Palestinian,” the ethnicity of this people. Historically he’s correct. Politically, diplomatically, it’s too late. I don’t think there is much to be gained by pursuing that, but it’s important to recognize it, maybe as part of exposing the attempts by the left and the Muslim world to delegitimize Israel. They talk of Israel as if it were an invented state, ignoring their real history and their ethnic roots to the land under their feet.

You just returned from a trip to Israel. You’ve been there before, but how did seeing the facts on the ground as an elected official change or solidify your view of Israel and its security needs?

This time I met people at all levels and all locations. I met the prime minister, the defense minister. I went all over the place, even to Ramallah to meet Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. I was in Israel eleven years ago, right at the beginning of the Intifada. Security at that point was at a heightened level. Today one can go just about anywhere – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, Masada. You don’t see security; it’s invisible. You could be in Miami.

And there’s a sense of optimism that I think is part of a natural Israeli mindset. They are confronted with a series of problems and they figure out how to deal with them. I was at Sderot, where the rockets are being fired. They responded with shelters and drones but more importantly the Iron Dome missile anti-rocket system, which they have perfected in an incredibly short time. They work out of necessity, but they have the confidence that they can handle what’s thrown at them. And they’re good.

After speaking with your Israeli counterparts in the Knesset, what impression do you have of the current American-Israeli relationship?

I saw that military cooperation is at a very high level, also in the area of intelligence sharing. Economically the investments in technology and start-ups are ideal. There is and has been a weakness in diplomacy. I think some of the early missteps of the Obama administration have been a real problem. But Israel sees a need for American support, and America sees a need for Israel as a strategic partner. We have common enemies, and our common cultural values are very important.

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg recently called Israeli settlements in the West Bank “deliberate vandalism.” Did you visit those settlements, and how would you describe them?

I think that statement is absurd. They’re suburban housing – lovely, sophisticated, planned communities. I visited these communities, some around Jerusalem, and they are just a natural outgrowth and extension of a thriving city. It’s important to note too that the so-called housing freeze was supposed to be imposed on everyone, and I have yet to hear any criticism of the Palestinian developments, which are far more extensive than anything the Israelis have done.

About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Politics, Israel, the Economy: A Chat With Rep. Bob Turner”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zisel Braun
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun Underway [photos]
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty


n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

More Articles from Sara Lehmann

In the fury and flurry of publicity surrounding the Klinghoffer opera, another musical affront to Jews almost went unnoticed.

Charles Krauthammer

You’re not going to change public opinion. The media are so biased you can’t get your story through. But what counts is America.

I understand how two governments can negotiate a ceasefire, but terrorists by definition are not playing by the same rules as you are.

Like all patriotic Americans, I cheered implementation of the Bush Doctrine to preemptively protect American lives from the perceived threat of WMD.

Though the school district eventually pulled the assignment after coming under pressure, the fact that an American school would ask its students to debate whether the Holocaust was “merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain” is both astounding and frightening.

It is not the role of schools or government to make people feel good about themselves. Self-esteem comes with productivity, not in the absence of it.

Despite the exodus thousands of years ago and our break from the ghettos hundreds of years ago, the slave mentality follows us like a long shadow.

While Brooklyn College is famed for its plethora of Jewish professors and students, it is not a Jewish institution. The 92nd Street Y is. According to its own mission and history statement, it’s “a proudly Jewish institution since its inception.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/politics-israel-the-economy-a-chat-with-rep-bob-turner/2012/01/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: